Toronto's Commercial Heartland

Toronto (York) may have lost the Battle of York in April 1813, but when the War of 1812 ended, the military infrastructure that had been built for defence—the harbour and Yonge and Dundas streets—contributed to the growth of the small town of York into the City of Toronto, the country’s centre of industry and commerce.

The stories and sites collected under the theme “Industry and Commerce” illustrate the importance of the harbour and the Don River to post-war industrial development as well as the growth of centres of finance and commerce along the Yonge Street corridor, and the expansion along other transportation corridors, notably rail lines.

This trail highlights stories of manufacturing along the waterfront, and the financial and commercial heartland radiating from King and Yonge. It begins at the Redpath Sugar Refinery, which functions on the waterfront to this day, albeit with very different neighbours from those at its outset.

The Stories